A congenital heart defect was likely responsible for the cardiac arrest which Bronny James — the oldest son of NBA superstar LeBron James — suffered during a University of Southern California basketball practice in Los Angeles last month, his family announced Friday.
Following medical evaluations by experts from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the Mayo Clinic and the Morristown Medical Center, doctors determined that the “probable cause” of the 18-year-old’s “sudden cardiac arrest” was an “anatomically and functionally significant congenital heart defect which can and will be treated” a family spokesperson said in a statement.
The spokesperson said the family was “very confident in Bronny’s full recovery and return to basketball in the very near future.”
Bronny James, an incoming freshman at USC, suffered the cardiac arrest during a July 24 practice with his college basketball team and was rushed to the ICU of Cedars-Sinai “fully conscious, neurologically intact and stable,” the hospital said at the time. He was discharged within two days.
On July 29, LeBron James posted a video of his son playing the piano at their Los Angeles’ home for a few seconds before smiling and standing up.
Cardiac arrest, which the American Heart Association says occurs when the “heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly,” is rare in young athletes, though it is not unheard of. In fact, cardiac arrest, which is different from a heart attack, is the leading cause of death for young athletes in the U.S., according to the Mayo Clinic.
— Christopher Brito and Simrin Singh contributed to this report.
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